Portimonense actually gave a really good fight to Porto last time out and they took the lead keeping the 1:1 result till the 57th minute, but were overrun later on via three goals from Porto within few minutes. Other than that, the team does look very decentish now being at the eleventh position with four points more than relegation zone.
After a victory away to Maritimo, the players of Setubal didn’t manage to hold Benfica suffering 0:1 defeat in front of own fans last weekend. Benfica took the lead early, however, Setubal was the one that looked bit better and actually had more chances and more ball possession in the second. They are now eight at the table with seventeen points earned.
Portimonense will miss left back Lazaroni (3/0), midfielder Pereira (1/0), while forward Jackson Martinez (8/2) remains doubtful for the moment. The guests miss left back Sousa (4/0) and offensive midfielder Freitas (9/0) due to injuries.
Genk only needs a point from this game to qualify but with a win they would surely be first so I expect them to go for a win and score a goal. Genk scored a goal in all of their home games this season. Out of 15 home games there were BTTS in 9 of them. Besiktas scored there and Sarpsborg 08 by performance is similar to Besiktas. Sarpsborg 08 created more chances in Istanbul than home team and they won against Genk 3:1 at home. If Sarpsborg wins with two goals difference here then Genk would probably be out of the competition. I expect from Norvegian team to attack and eventually score a goal here, after all they play attacking football and it is their only chance here. Genk defense is not that solid lately.
Shakhtar survived and surprised a lot in the fifth round when the side won away to Hoffenheim with a 2:3 result and kept he chances of progressing further. They now need nothing but a victory against Lyon even though the side collected only one win for now. As for the domestic league, they continue domination with a 3:0 win over Mariupol and are now seven points above Dynamo.
Lyon was close to achieving their second victory in the group against the Citizens and was leading twice in the previous game, but the clash ended 2:2 fairly. They now can’t afford to lose while any other result would bring them the knockout phase. They are coming from a 0:2 defeat at home against Rennes, probably paying much more attention to this clash now.
The hosts miss forward Fernando (11/2), but also defender Rakitsky (11/1). Visiting side can’t count at most likely at forward Cornet (9/1), while midfielders Ndombele (16/0) and Diop (6/0) both remain questionable.
It’s pretty clear for Liverpool as the side keeps the destiny in their own hands needing all three points here. It could be said that they upped the form just when needed, coming from victories over Burnley and Bournemouth where they showed offensive improvement – or better to say, one of their best players Salah.
Napoli secured a comfortable victory at home over Crvena zvezda 3:1, but still aren’t granted progress as the team can’t afford to lose here knowing that the Parisians are huge favorites to take all three points in the other game. They seem to be in a really decent form now and surely aren’t coming here to defend only, having great weapons offensively.
Defender Lovren is questionable for the moment, while injured remains central defender Gomez (13/0). The Italians continue to miss offensive Verdi (5/1).
Salernitana, besides the first game against Palermo, always scored at home (11 goals in 6games) and Brescia in away games, always scored and conceded without being able to win a single game.
All the Brescia’s games were spectacular untill now, like the 3-2 against Spezia, the 1-1 against Carpi and 3 consecutive 2-2 draws against Crotone, Cittadella and Foggia, to end with KO against Venezia with a 2-1 defeat.
Even in this game, both teams should be playing an offensive football.
Salernitana will put Rosina as MO just behind Bocalon and Jallow, Brescia’s MO will be Spalek behind Torregrossa and Donnarumma.
Salernitana and Brescia should be able to score a goal each at least, where it will be difficult to predict the winner. A draw is also not excluded here.
Grasshoppers were set as quite an underdog away to Zurich last weekend and they really couldn’t do much more in a 2:0 defeat. A bit surprisingly, they did have more of the ball possession, but the hosts were those who looked far better as a unit, with much more fluid ball movement. The side is now second from the bottom and surely aiming nothing but a victory in this one.
Luzern, on the other side, actually looked quite competitive against Sion for most of the match but still suffered 2:0 defeat. We could even say that they looked better than the opponent, but with a goal from Kasami in the 79th minute everything changed and their hosts struck them again very late. Luzern is now just two points above Grasshoppers and can’t afford to lose here.
Hosts continue to miss central backs Rhyner (12/1), Nathan (3/1), midfielders Sigurjonsson (9/0), Holzhauser (14/2), forward Tarashajs (3/0) and Djuricin (9/3). Left-back Soumbia (15/0) is suspended. Guests miss goalkeeper Salvi (9/0), defender Knezevic (8/1), right back Kakabadze (7/0) and forward Juric (6/0) due to injuries. Right back Schwegler (11/0) is suspended.
In spite of a good run of nine matches without defeats, interrupted in last round with a 3-0 loss against Birmingham, Preston remain only four points over relegation cause a disastrous start of season.
Guests never convincgly away ( 1-3-6 8/19 one of the worst away attack and second worst defense), and in last period problems with injuries become harder.
For this match topscorer Robinson ( 9g), Harrop ( midf. 4+4), Maguire ( att.3+3), Johnson ( midf.8+4 3g), remain all out and there are doubts over captain Clarcke ( def. 14), Pearson ( midf. 15) and Earl ( midf.7), first two already out in last two matches, the alst injuried in last round.
Forest has no so many problems, Figueiredo ( def. 10+2) and Fox ( def.14) remain out, but already in last round against Ipswich they gained a clean sheet, the fourth one in alst five matches.
Nottingham is the fifth best team and seventh one at home ( 5-4-1 13/8), undefeatd in last seven rounds and defeated only by leader Norwich since September.
Today 2nd place will meet last in the standings in Belgium. Brugge did look impressive last time at home when they beat Standard by 3-0. They usually play better at home but let’s not say they’re bad on the road either. Waasland Beveren in contrast are one of the worst teams in the division, they miss the team spirit and I would be very surprised if they can do something here.Brugge had 5 out of 8 away games that went over and in only one of those 5 they didn’t receive against a goal. Beveren had only 3/8 home games that went over but I’m not affraid that will be of influence.Brugge has the far better squad and are on high motivation now after a draw in Dortmund and a convincing game against Standard. I first wanted to play over 2.5 goals and Brugge win instead of Brugge win and both teams to score but I didn’t saw the option.
HUGE problems for VVV. Maurce Steijn will miss 6 players for the match against Feyenoord.
Danny Post, Roel Janssen, Patrick Joosten en Tristan Dekker are not fit. Christian Kum was sick and barely trained with the group while Peter van Ooijen is suspended.
Steijn:” I do not wanna sound pathetic, but this is the worst possible scenario for us. Especially since we had a fit squad for the first game ( this game was going to be played a few weeks before but there was a light failure in the stadium ).”
VVV is having another great start of the season. Indeed, very similair to last season. You have to give credit to their manager Maurice Steijn who is doing great things with limited resources. Especially since their best two players Leemans and Van Crooij both left VVV for PEC Zwolle this summer.
Strasbourg comes from one of their best performances this season, as the team won away to Rennes with a 1:4 result last Sunday. They were back in the scoreline early, but have created much more since then – actually completely outplaying the opponent. The side is impressing for now, having just one defeat in last eight Ligue 1 clashes. They are six points behind the European zone.
PSG, on the other side, suffered their first setback in the season in Ligue 1, coming from a 2:2 draw away to Bordeaux. They had the ball possession and were in the lead twice, all the way till the 84th minute, but that simply wasn’t enough from them – not actually remind of a really strong team they truly are. Still, no worries since they lead the table with fourteen points more than Montpellier.
Central back Mitrovic (14/0) remains suspended, while injured are defensive Grimm (5/0) and forward Saadi (1/0) for the hosts. Parisians continue to miss right back Dagba (3/0), but this time also forward Neymar (12/11). Right back Meunier (10/2) is doubtful for now, as well as defensive midfielder Rabiot (13/2).